Bulletin of the American Physical Society
APS March Meeting 2010
Volume 55, Number 2
Monday–Friday, March 15–19, 2010; Portland, Oregon
Session K1: Poster Session II (2:00 pm - 5:00 pm)
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Room: Exhibit CD
Abstract ID: BAPS.2010.MAR.K1.281
Abstract: K1.00281 : Actinides in Solution: Disproportionation, Strong Correlations, and Emergence*
Preview Abstract Abstract
Plutonium in acid solutions can be found in oxidation states III through VI. There is a striking near perfect degeneracy of the reduction-oxidation (redox) potentials, each being about 1 volt. Neptunium is the only other element that approaches this degree of degeneracy. One consequence of the redox degeneracy is a marked tendency of plutonium ions to disproportionate; up to four different oxidation states can coexist simultaneously in the same solution, greatly complicating the environmental chemistry of the element. While the degeneracy could simply be a coincidence, it could also be the manifestation of a higher-level organizing principle at work. Other systems that exhibit disproportionation raise the possibility of an emergent negative-U attractive interaction. The hypothesis is tested by combining first-principles relativistic density-functional calculations using the Amsterdam Density Functional (ADF) package with exact diagonalizations of Hubbard-like models of the strong correlations between the actinide 5f electrons.
*Research supported in part by NSF DMR-0605619.
To cite this abstract, use the following reference: http://meetings.aps.org/link/BAPS.2010.MAR.K1.281
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